Encyclopedia of Marine Geosciences

Living Edition
| Editors: Jan Harff, Martin Meschede, Sven Petersen, Jörn Thiede


  • Nina Kukowski
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6644-0_106-1



The term earthquake describes ground shaking and radiation of seismic energy, which is caused, e.g., by slip on a fault, magmatic activity, or cavity collapse.


Earthquakes are events of seismic ground shaking caused, e.g., by the release of elastic stress accumulated along a previously locked fault zone (Fig. 1), by magmatic activity, or by the collapse of caves. Further, human activity such as mining and hydrocarbon exploitation, underground nuclear explosions, geothermal fluid injection, or rapid water level changes in dam lakes may cause earthquakes. Mostly, stress release occurs suddenly and unpredicted. In the case of large earthquakes, ground shaking may be considerable and cause devastation and fatalities.


Ground Motion Seismic Wave Seismic Hazard Subduction Zone Fault Plane 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für GeowissenschaftenFriedrich-Schiller-UniversitätJenaGermany